Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Cure from the Creative Unconscious

Yesterday I very reluctantly took a small action toward where I need to be and made a paradoxical leap forward.

Translating that into more concrete terms: A week or so ago, I posted here that I was going to have to relax, at least in my sleep, because I've been damaging my teeth because of jaw tension at night.

My first goal was to convince myself that tension is bad. "To do this I first have to recode my tense muscles as unhealthy. Right now, I view a state of tension as sleek and alert and leopard-like. That's got to change, all the way down in the basement of my mind. I think that once that's done, the rest may come along naturally."

So yesterday I attended a four-hour hypnosis workshop led by my psychologist-hypnotherapist husband Bob (Dick), with the stated aim of learning to see my unconscious tension as bad. (I'd never even felt this clenching, since it only happened in my sleep.)

Here's what happened: I fogged out in trance as Bob led an induction for the group of about a dozen, each of whom had described some desired change. When I "woke up" maybe twenty minutes later, I was in pain from my forehead down to my collarbone. All the bones in my face hurt. At first, I was disappointed, thinking: well, I've only made my trouble worse.

Then I realized: I'd just created the motivation I needed, had just changed my whole view of this tension. There was no question that it was bad; it felt like a killer sinus headache all over my face. That continued until I went to sleep last night.

I am now entirely sure that this kind of tension is bad. It is not strength in any form. It has been grinding me down. And I'm pretty sure that, with this new awareness, my basement mind is convinced and that I'm on the way to being through with it, if not already there.

Putting one's whole mind to work on a problem, of art or anything else, can create some pretty amazing results.

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